News Roundup for October 14, 2021

October 14, 2021

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J Street works to promote an open, honest and rigorous conversation about Israel. The opinions reflected in articles posted in the News Roundup do not necessarily reflect J Street’s positions, and their posting does not constitute an endorsement from J Street.

Top News and Analysis

Alongside Israel’s Lapid, Blinken Says ‘Time Running Short’ on Iran Nuclear Diplomacy, Haaretz
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday “time is running short” on an Iranian return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, but stressed in a joint press conference with Israel’s foreign minister that the U.S. believes “the diplomatic path is the most effective way to ensure” Tehran doesn’t acquire nuclear weapons.

Smotrich at Knesset: Ben-Gurion should have ‘finished the job,’ thrown out Arabs, Times of Israel
Speaking from the Knesset plenum on Wednesday, far-right Religious Zionism MK Bezalel Smotrich said David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, should have “finished the job” and kicked all Arabs out of the country when it was founded.

US, Israel say they are exploring a ‘Plan B’ for Iran, AP
The United States and Israel said Wednesday they are exploring a “Plan B” for dealing with Iran if the Islamic Republic does not return in good faith to negotiations to salvage the languishing landmark 2015 nuclear deal. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said discussions between their two countries have begun on “other options” should Iran reject an offer to come back into compliance with the agreement if the U.S. rejoins it.


250 Islamic Jihad prisoners in Israel set to launch hunger strike, Times of Israel
Around 250 Islamic Jihad prisoners were set to begin a hunger strike on Wednesday in protest of new Israeli policies toward Palestinian detainees, the Palestinian Prisoners Club announced. Since six Palestinian security prisoners fled Gilboa Prison in northern Israel in early September, the Israel Prisons Service has taken a number of measures in an attempt to reduce the chances of another escape.

U.S. will move forward with reopening its Palestinian mission in Jerusalem -Blinken, Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday the Biden administration intends to press ahead with its plan to reopen the Jerusalem consulate that traditionally engaged with Palestinians, despite Israeli opposition to such a move.

Palestinian Beaten by Israeli Officer After Complaining About Police Violence, Haaretz
A Jerusalem police officer beat up on Tuesday a Palestinian man who complained to him that another officer had assaulted him.

Palestinians alarmed by Israel settlement plan on Jerusalem airport, Al-Monitor
Israel is promoting the construction of more than 9,000 new settlement units on the land of Jerusalem airport, or what is known as Qalandia Airport or Atarot Airport. The project is part of a settlement plan that is the largest of its kind in the West Bank in decades.

Israel Advances Thousands of Housing Units in East Jerusalem as Biden Remains Silent, Haaretz
Givat Hamatos, E1, Atarot and Pisgat Ze’ev – these are all areas in or around Jerusalem that lie beyond Israel’s 1967 borders, where the state is currently advancing extensive building plans for Jews. The Biden administration is so far refraining, at least publicly, from pressuring Israel so that it freezes these construction plans. Given the composition of Israel’s government, such pressure could turn into a political crisis.

Opinion and Analysis

Her Son Was Killed By A Palestinian Sniper. Now, This Israeli Activist Works For Change In Israel/Palestine., Forbes
A profile of Robi Damelin, a leader of the Parents Circle. “Damelin and her counterparts, through various initiatives, are working to end the Israeli occupation, provide a space for Israelis and Palestinians to come together and speak about their collective experiences and traumas, and improve society in Israel/Palestine.”

The Struggle for Palestinian Family Unification Succeeds – Haltingly, Little and Late, Haaretz
Amira Hass writes, “The setting of a 5,000-person quota and the term ‘easement’ shows that an unknown but probably high number of other spouses will remain in the same conditions of uncertainty and draconian travel restrictions for many years, until the next ‘easement.’ For this reason, many others will be deterred from marrying whom they want if he or she is not an official resident, or they may decide to move abroad.”

How Meir Kahane’s ideas entered the Jewish mainstream, JTA
Emily Burack interviews Shaul Magid about his new cultural biography of the extreme right political figure.